Deciding to hire a custom home builder in Toronto is a major investment of time and energy.
After all, you’re entrusting a company to design, create and build a home specifically tailored to your wants and needs – it shouldn’t be a brash or rushed decision. With hundreds of custom home builders in the GTA, making the final decision can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider asking your potential builder the following seven questions can help you select the right company with confidence.
1. How many years have you been a business?
While this might seem like a fundamental question, it’s important to dig deeper than the standard “Four years,” response. Although the specific number of years may not be a deal breaker, it’s a positive if the company has been around for a while. A respected home builder should also feel comfortable providing the details of his business, like how many houses they’ve built, licensing documents and insurance details.
2. Can you provide any references from previous home buyers? Can we arrange a time to see a home you’ve built for another customer?
If the company you’re investigating offers a run around on references or visiting a custom home – take that as a warning sign. Chances are a company that has been around for a while has a compiled list of references you can contact. Follow through with previous customers and ask them about their experiences with the building process and the final result. Take notes for referencing purposes (in the event you’re speaking with multiple companies) and clarify any questions before making a decision.
3. What type of warranty do you provide on your work? Who do I contact if I have a concern?
Although standard wear and tear are expected, if you’re noticing any issues with your home, it’s important to know who to contact – and what the terms of a warranty (if any) include. These terms can vary substantially between companies, so make sure you get everything in writing. Also, document any contact details for the builder like email, physical address and phone number – keep them for your records, should you need to discuss details or questions later.
4. How do you compare your workmanship to other builders? What are the benefits of the houses you build
Chances are—a home builder is used to the common questions prospective clients ask, so listen to their reaction carefully. Many times, it’s not the actual response given that matters – it’s how they voice it. Watch for any shifting behaviour or long pauses; this might indicate a potential problem. A confident home builder will know why his company excels in specific areas (and lack in others) – but shouldn’t take the opportunity to bad-mouth other firms in the process.
5. Who will manage the construction of my house? Does your company use sub-contractors – if so, are they regularly staffed or hired temporarily?
Having sub-contractors throughout the build is not uncommon – especially when it comes to electrical, plumbing or specific trades that require expertise—but having a short list is important. If your home builder frequently hires sub-contractors temporarily (or through an agency) ask what provisions are in place to ensure quality work is in place. Good custom home builders in Toronto will have a collection of highly qualified professionals (whether subcontractors or staff) that they rely on for the duration of a project.
6. How is the final price of my home determined? How long will my house take to complete?
Both of these questions are largely variable, but a general idea of both should be given. For instance, a home builder in Toronto might not know the total home price until you’ve decided on the features within the home (countertops, cabinets, lighting and any upgrades throughout), but should have a general idea of the price point.
Likewise, the construction of a home can vary depending on the contractors, permit process, and other common issues that can arise during the home building process. While delays sometimes happen, it’s important to have a general idea of completion. Be wary of builders who over-promise; chances are if they’re offering a new home in a time frame that’s much faster than other companies—they might be taking shortcuts on your property.
7. What happens if something goes wrong? How do you handle disruptions or complaints?
Although the most standard response will entail a “see what happens” approach, try to get a better understanding of what the process looks like should you be unhappy during the home building. The outcome might change depending on the situation (for instance, the bad design vs. a delay in the completion) but try to get a feeling on how they’d handle complaints.
If the home builder offers a discount or rebate on the home, get it in writing at the time of discussion for your records. No one likes to think of things going wrong, but should it occur during your home build, that documentation will be useful to have.
For over 30 years, ICFhome.ca has been one of the leading custom home builders in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). A professional “one-stop-shop”, ICFhome.ca fully manage all home building services from design and planning to construction and landscaping of new custom homes.
With innovative architectural design, defined by leading interior designers and carefully crafted by skilled trades, every home is a definite statement of luxury living forever.
We selectively build a number of fine homes in Toronto to ensure that its high standards are met so that clients can enjoy the home of their dreams. Dreams that are backed by the reality of a comprehensive ICFhome.ca warranty, and reinforced by the Tarion New Home Warranty Program.
If you dream of living in a distinctive and unique home, you can trust ICFhome.ca to deliver on time and on the budget, the passion, vision and expertise that will transform your dream into reality.